jpara thanks for the reply. I have not looked into the other printers much. The only one I might be interested in is the Epson 3800. But as far as searching goes it seems the Canon is better on ink. And yes, I keep forgeting about shelf life.
I am not sure if I would use all the ink up before the in printer ink life is over. It seems people have gone over a year with the Epsons. I would also have to start asking friends if they want any prints and have been checking out local camera clubs to see if anyone would be interested in having prints done (for not much above ink/paper costs-at least at this time) because I would need to do something more to use the ink.
I have glanced at prints from other printers that are out on a shelf at Pictureline. Again, they all look good. I do not think I would be dissatisfied with any of the printers for print quality.
It looks like a found a source that I can go and print a small run of 10-12 8x10's to get an ink usage indication. After that I will have to think more on the shelf life even though I would guess all manufacturer specs would be low (6 months). Maybe I will be the person in one or two years to give better indication of in printer ink life.
Also, unless I discover something unexpected, ink cost is my primary concern (ok, right next to shelf life). Great, I only spent $200 in ink this year -To bad I need $900 in new cartridges because of shelf life . If I can not come up with any better answers to shelf life and I do a run of prints and the ink usage is within my range I do not know what I will do. I am trying not to rush into this but if I do not get it by the time the rebate ends I will not get it until it sells at the rebate price or they offer another rebate in the future.
Anyways, thanks for the input. Hopefully Thursday or Friday I will do a small run of 8x10's (color on glossy paper) and post the results. If the usage is to high then the printer will not fall into my budget.
While I agree ink and paper costs can add up to significant dollars, it seems you may be over analyzing these costs in making your decision. I've read through your posts and it seems your printing demands are fairly moderate. The iPF5000 is a professional printer, designed to be used regularly.
What is the shelf life of an iPF5000 cartridge once installed in the printer. I just purchased the Epson 3800 which uses 80ml cartridges at a cost between $45 - $60 per cartridge, and are expected to be usable for 6 months after installation. Are you certain you will use all the ink in the even larger Canon cartridges before their usable life expires?
Have you compared the prints from the iPF5000 with other manufacturers. I like Canon printers as well, but I've found each manufacturer has it's strengths and weaknesses. Given you have been exposed to pritns mostly from Canon dye inks, and 3rd party inks you may find Canon pigment inks to produce undesireable results.
The research before the purchase is always the most fun. I'm merely suggesting you take into account some other factors than the cost of ink in making your decision.